Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Epi-Pen Holder

O.k. just so you know, up front, I'm doing a little self-promoting! I thank ya'll so much for considering purchasing one of these or any of the bags I sell at www.mythirtyone.com/jenniferames. The proceeds from their sales help me to continue to blog and offer you free resources on how to live a great life, even with allergies! This is actually a pencil pouch that I purchased and had Josh's Epi embroidered on it. The reasons I love it are. It has a ring on the end of the pouch, which allows me to add a snap link and hook it just about wherever. He can snap it to his back pack, his belt loop, and/or I can snap it to the strap of my purse or just about any bag I carry. It is water resistant, with a wipable lining inside, and you can have it personalized with your child's name on it or Epi-pen, etc. It's roomy and will allow him to keep extra stuff in it, like cash, or sunglasses, or instructions on what to do if his epi or inhaler are needed! Again, thanks for considering purchasing one and supporting Thriving Life! Again the link is www.mythirtyone.com/jenniferames !!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Check out this great article by Dr. Mercola on different allergy treatments, be sure to read all the way down to his comments! Very informative on several natural treatments that can be used!

Enormously Useful Allergy Treatment - With Virtually No Side Effects

Friday, July 29, 2011

Allergy Shot Update

Well, long time no see and hear! Sorry about that, life got in the way! Really I've been struggling with keeping this blog up. I've been praying about what direction, if any, I want to go with this and here is why!

As some of you know, we decided to put our son on allergy shots last fall, for the grass, and animal allergies. For awhile we didn't see any improvement, whatsoever, after two months of being on them we visited my sister, who has several cats and a couple of dogs and it took three days and lots of meds. to get his allergies back under control. He was so miserable. Anyway, we kept plugging away with it week after week, month after month, until I decided that I had had enough, we weren't seeing any benefit of it and I was tired of taking him, for what seemed like nothing! So we stopped the shots. After about a month, my husband brought home ,a soon to be homeless, cat for outside. When he had heard of the opportunity to get the free cat, we decided we would give it a try and see how our son did with it, figuring the cat wouldn't even let him get near him. How wrong we were, the cat turned out to be the most lovingest little thing you would want to ever have, and I'm not much of a cat fan. Sooooo, being that cats are our son's favorite animal ever, he was all over that cat and the cat loved the attention and him! And guess what, after hauling the cat around all day, petting it, letting it rub all over him, no reaction! I mean none, not even a runny nose or a sneeze! Before, all it would take is a couple of minutes of petting a cat and his eyes would swell up and catch "on fire", usually then followed by hives. Once even he had some difficulty breathing, and that was about the scariest thing ever! So, I called the allergist and had him restarted on the shots and now he is back on maintenance dose and doing great! I hardly ever have to give him any other medicine and for that I am so thankful! Of course it is summer time, so we will see how his concentration is when we go back to school.

Anyhoo, I say all of that to say this, since his "environmental" allergies have cleared up, or are in the process of being cleared up, we have been able to better assess his food allergies and am happy to report they are all but gone too! Before when we would allow him to have something with dairy or egg in it, it was hard to tell if he was having a reaction to it, or the grass he just rolled around in outside! Now that they are under control, we've been allowing him to have dairy and baked items with egg in it and he is doing so well with it! So, you see my dilemma? I haven't really had a lot to talk about, in regards to the allergies, though I'm so excited to be in this place. When he was 1 years old and we were still struggling with what was going on with him and what we were going to feed him, I never imagined a day where he could sit down and scarf down half a cheese pizza and eat some birthday cake like everyone else. Honestly, I almost don't believe it myself now. It's like I've been waiting for this time his whole life, striving for it, and now that it's here I find myself holding my breath and watching him for any of those old signs. I'm glad to report there are none. Now, we haven't assessed his allergy with shrimp because we were told that he probably won't grow out of it, but I will probably ask to have him retested from time to time and see where we sit with it, but I'm thankful that we are where we are and am trying to enjoy it, just for today!

So that's it, that is where we are, and where we've been. Thanks for all of you that come and visit from time to time. I love hearing your feedback and comments. I'm not sure where we are headed with this, but will definitely keep up the dairy/egg free recipes that are already listed, thanks for coming by!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What's For Dairy/Egg Free Breakfast

Hello! O.k. I know I've been a real slacker in blogging lately, sorry! I didn't think that taking on the 31, home party, business would really impact my life that much and it sure has. By the grace of God, April was a really busy month! So, thanks for your patience and I hope you enjoy this recipe for a breakfast smoothie that I concocted this morning, I think it might become my personal fav:

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie:

1 cup of milk of choice (I used almond)
4 oz. of yogurt (for dairy free use coconut yogurt or the like)
-if you don't have any of the yogurt on hand, just add a little more milk
blend for about 30 sec.
-throw in half a medium sized banana
blend some more
-add 2 Tbsp peanut butter
more blending
-finish off with the rest of the banana
keep on blending

Voila, Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie!!!

You can also add a dash of fresh ground flax seed for a B vitamin boost, or ice to make this a frozen smoothie! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Welcome Bloggers!

Hi all! If you came over from 5 Minutes for Mom, Welcome! My name is Jennifer Ames and my blog is all about Living a Thriving Life with Allergies(hence the name!). I struggled with allergies as a kid and am raising a son with multiple allergies. He is currently allergic to dairy, eggs, and shrimp and also to a mixture of grasses, dogs, and cats! Anyway, I started this blog so that I could share some of the things I've learned along my journey. Some of the trials, and some of the triumphs, in hopes to encourage and strengthen others who may be sharing the same path. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to visit you soon! Please leave me a comment and I'll be sure to stop by yours first. In the mean time, enjoy a couple of pics of my gang. I look forward to meeting yours!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thriving Life's Top 10 Snack Ideas

I remember when I first started my son on a dairy free diet, it was very hard for me to think outside of my "box" of recipes and snack ideas. Gone were the days of grabbing something off the shelf at the grocery store or bakery, it seemed that everywhere I looked for food I would find milk listed as one of the main ingredients! So, I thought I would share some of the snack ideas we munch on around here and maybe it will get you to thinking!

1. Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. While not, traditionally, just a snack, this was a lifesaver in the beginning. Cut it into fours and give two of the squares for a snack along with a handful of grapes!

2. Honey nut Cheerios- served plain or in a bowl with some rice or almond milk!

3. Oreos-yep surprisingly the regular and chocolate stuffed ones are daiy free.

4. Bowl of red or green grapes-raisins will do, also(I haven't run into any brands that are not dairy free).

5. 1/2 cup of low salt or salt free nuts, we like almonds, peanuts, and cashews!

6. Lunchmeat roll ups- Take a piece of turkey, ham, or roast beef(we like Boar's Head) and simply roll up each slice, add some apple wedges for a sweet treat.

7. Popcorn-we like to pop our own at home for a really healthy snack. You can find some brands of microwave popcorn, though, that are dairy free. Check your labels!

8. Bowl of cantaloupe or honey dew melon-one of my son's personal fav's!

9. Graham Crackers iced with frosting. Duncan Hines has many dairy/egg free frostings-another caution not all Graham crackers brands are dairy free, check them out for yourself!

10. Plain rice cakes with a nut butter spread thinly on top. Try almond butter to switch things up or, if you are allergic to nuts, try sunflower butter, it tastes very much like peanut butter but is nut free! Top with a little bit of jelly, jam, raisins, or thinly sliced apples! Get creative and create a smiley face with it!

As always, I must put a disclaimer that says CHECK YOUR LABELS! While I have trusted many brands for years, sometimes companies change ingredients. Your best defense is to educate yourself. Don't take my word for it, look at all the ingredients, yourself and then make a decision if a product is right for you!!! That being said I hope this list helps someone out there who is just beginning a thriving life with allergies or gives you some new ideas to add to your diet!

Until next time....

Monday, February 21, 2011

Food Facts for Food Allergies

I love, love, love this new site called FoodFacts.com! It was started up by a grandfather, Stan Rak, who was concerned about all the, yucky, hidden ingredients that his grandkids were eating! What's that got to do with food allergies? Watch the video and see...

It's also going to be my new go to place when looking up ingredients in products, BEFORE, I go to the store, and for looking up what my son can eat at restaurants. If you have food allergies, family members with food allergies, or are even just having a guest over that has food allergies you need to check out this site! It's totally free and packed full of helpful resources you are going to love!! Check out the Food Facts button on the side bar to see for yourself....Until next time!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What's for Dairy/Egg free Dinner?

Mmmm-tonight we are having BBQ chicken via the crockpot. Check out this great, quick and easy recipe that my family loves and asks for more!

What you'll need:

1 Crockpot
enough chicken to feed your family
(I'm using a whole chicken from some I "scored" at the grocery store, one of my MoneySavingQueen finds!)
dairy/egg free BBQ sauce
(if you're feeling saucy ;) go here and try your hand at this great recipe for homemade bbq sauce)
salt and pepper to taste
a bay leaf

Stick your chicken, a cup or so of water, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf in the crockpot in the morning and cook it all day according to your crockpots directions. About thirty minutes before you're ready to eat, take the chicken out and cool. While it's cooling dump out the contents of crockpot. Once cooled, shred the chicken with your hands, returning to your crockpot, now set on warm. Add enough BBQ sauce to really soak the chicken and mix, let warm through. Serve, on buns with whatever sides you choose. I think I might do green beans and waffle fries! Let me know how yours turns out...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What's Happening around Thriving Life with Allergies!

Just thought I'd share what all was going on around our home, these days. My husband and I have had a dream, since before we first got married, of owning our own land and growing some of our own food. Well, by the grace of God, last year we were blessed to be able to buy a home and six acres. We have been plotting and planning ever since, o.k. my husband does most of the plotting and I just throw my 2 cents in on the planning. (One thing I'm great at is stupervising!) Anyhoo, just recently we've been able to get started on what I like to call Phase 1 of the whole operation! What we, affectionately, call the barn! It really is just a glorified shed, but we deliberately chose the red, with white, trim. I think calling it a barn really makes us feel more like farmers, we are so wannabes! Here are a couple shots:

Speaking of plotting and planning, part of our plan to grow some of our own food will include a garden. I have tried several over the years and really have not had much luck. My husband has decided this is something that he wants to tackle and he has, definitely, shown some signs of a green thumb. Much more so than me, who, at this time is struggling to keep a few house plants alive.(One said, ficus tree, is coming down to some of it's last leaves, poor thing!) Check out my handsome man, getting the ground ready!

So, what do you think? Doesn't he look great doing all that manual labor! I better go before I get in too much trouble for posting his pic! Until next time!

Monday, January 31, 2011

What's for Dairy/Egg Free Dinner?

O.k. I was way short on time today and need to go to the grocery store, desperately. Sound familiar? So, I was fishing around in the freezer and pantry for something for dinner and this is what I came up with! I haven't named it yet, but one of my children said it was her new favorite dinner. (Guess who is my new favorite child?) Just kidding, I love all my children the same! And the boy actually ate it all without complaining, not once. So here goes:

Ingredients needed:
One package of Chicken breast
one bag of frozen broccoli
2 bags of boil a bag brown rice(done in 10 min.)
3 Tbsp. butter substitue(I used Earth Balance)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1Tbsp. minced garlic
2-3 Tbsp. flour of choice
32 oz. box of chicken stock
pressure cooker-I love this, I can make healthy meals super quick with this!

All right, place your pressure cooker on medium heat, add olive oil, and chicken. Brown each side of chicken, salt and pepper them, to taste. While browning, add garlic. Once browned, add approximately 2 cups chicken stock and package of frozen broccoli, making sure not to exceed amount allowed by your pressure cooker. When in doubt follow your cooker's directions. Once all ingredients are added put the lid on, turn heat up to high, allow pressure to build, then turn heat down to medium-high. Cook 15 min., follow cookers directions to cool.

While chicken and broccoli are cooking boil rice. And start the sauce-the most complicated part!

For the sauce, set your pan on low-medium heat. Add butter substitute, melt. Once melted, slowly add the flour, stirring the whole time until thick and bubbly. Slowly add, approximately, 1 1/2 - 2 cups of chicken broth, stirring continously. Salt and pepper to taste. This takes a little practice and a watchful eye, but stay with it. If I can do it, I know you can! (Remember when I started out I couldn't even boil water). Voila. When the chicken is done, the broccoli will be very mushy, add both to the rice and pour the sauce over top. Yummm!

P.S. The picture above is not what my pressure cooker looks like. That is, I believe, a Duramatic. I just thought I'd include a picture, just in case someone didn't know what one looked like.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Allergies, Asthma, and Strep, Oh My!

Well, we took another trip to the doctor today. We, meaning my son and I. He has had a fever, chills, body aches, etc. for four days now. I thought on Tuesday he was getting better, his fever even disappeared for the afternoon and night and he was, definitely, perking up. Anyway, Wednesday rolled around and his fever came back? I didn't know what to do with that so I thought we'd play the waiting game and see what the day transpired. Our youngest had the same symptoms over the weekend but she came out of the worst of it in a day and a half, so I just figured it was the flu. Anyway, we woke up this morning and he was not any better and started complaining of his stomach hurting too, which usually means strep for him. I'd been checking his tonsils and they didn't look too bad, meaning they were red and swollen, but no white spots on them. Took him to the doctor and he tested positive for strep. I'm so frustrated.

I think my frustration stems from the inability to stop these infections. I know I'm not God, I just don't understand how one child can get strep, take medication, recover and never get it again. And then you have my son who gets it, takes the medication, then gets it again, and again, and yet again. This is like his sixth strep infection in about 8, almost 9, months. He is a good candidate for a tonsilectomy. And still I hesitate. I don't know I just feel like in my gut that there has to be a better way. I'm not sure what that is. But I know when I started this journey, years ago some of the many books I read changed my whole viewpoint on health, medicine, and treatment. I've been reading one such book lately and it's called Healing the New Childhood Epidemics Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies, The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A disorders by Kenneth Bock, M.D. and Cameron Stauth. You can check it out by clicking on the title. This is not an affiliate link, I don't make any money by you ordering this through my blog. It's been great so far, confirming, to me that there can be a different approach to that which ails my son and myself, also. Basically, in the book Dr. Bock talks about his experience effectively treating many children that have one of the "4A" disorders. (He, also, talks openly about failed attempts too). Each patient has an individual treatment plan and he talks about using dietary changes, prescription medications, vitamins, minerals, and even alternative approaches to reverse even severe cases. It's been an awesome read so far. It's interesting that yesterday I happened across this new program started at our local community college for health professionals. It's called a whole health program and from the looks of it, it talks about the same thing. How to take someone with a chronic problem and treat the whole body and not just medicate the symptoms. Now that's exciting! Anyway, I loved to hear any feedback from someone who has read the book or maybe is taking a whole health approach to treating their allergies or other chronic condition.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Allergen Free Food Bargains

Right around Christmas time I was talking to someone at church about my son's food allergies and she told me about this great ministry called Angel Food ministries. Basically, they offer low cost, but high quality food for those who need it. And if that isn't awesome enough they offer an allergen free food box that contains 1 lb. each of breaded chicken breast nuggets, breaded chicken tenderloins, breaded breast fillet patties, breaded boneless chicken wings, and breaded cubed steak for $25. All the food has been processed to eliminate the top eight food allergens: Peanuts, soybeans, milk, eggs, fish, crustacea, tree nuts, and gluten. These boxes are available to anyone, there are no limits on who can obtain them. To locate a host site near you and to check out this ministry go to www.angelfoodministries.com or call 1-877-366-3646. There are host sites nationwide and they are adding more all the time! To see more of their menu items and prices click on the title to this post and scoll through. Check them out today!